Dec 19, 2007 - Sale 2133

Sale 2133 - Lot 116

Estimate: $ 2,000 - $ 3,000
12 x 9 inches. Champenois, Paris.
Condition A. Framed.
The Parisian company Chocolat Masson sold chocolate under the brand name Chocolat Mexicain. The company's owner clearly had a fine appreciation of Art Nouveau design, as he employed Eugene Grasset (see lot 63) and Alphonse Mucha for his advertising. His relationship with Mucha began when he reissued the artist's 1897 decorative panels for The Seasons, emblazoned with his company's name. Clearly happy with the result of that collaboration, he commissioned Mucha (through Champenois) to design entirely new images for another calendar the following year. The result was the brilliantly rendered, allegorical four stages of life, depicting the Ages of Man. This image represents "Old Age," and like the other images in the series, is set within an elaborate decorative frame. Here, as in the others, "the person growing old is . . . accompanied by an imaginary being in a protective attitude" (Rennert / Weill p. 187). It is interesting to note how Mucha handles the old man's beard; using his trademark Art Nouveau style of elaborate hair, but in this case with more reverence than exuberance. Rennert / Weill 47.